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Washington-based transgender advocacy app Solace has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $80,000 for the full US launch of its service this year, and to bring to life plans for a pilot programme in Mexico.

Solace’s app helps transgender and non-binary individuals plot out their transition, receive feedback, access resources, and track their progress.

The app came about following this year’s HackOut in Austin Texas, an LGBTQIA-themed startup weekend. Founded by transwoman and software developer Robbi Katherine Anthony, along with Patrick McHugh, Juan Pablo Delgado, Ari Martinez and Diego Hernandez.

At the time of writing, just 5 percent of the $80,000 goal has been raised.

Using the resources and expertise within the team, Solace’s roadmap is to tailor the app to each state, and eventually roll out to other countries.

“There’s just not a lot of good information out there regarding transition. Most of it is anecdotal experience, cobbled together on some forum. At times it can be wildly inaccurate and inconsistent.”

Robbi Katherine Anthony, founder of Solace

Goals on the app include those within the categories of legal, medical and lifestyle. For example, you can get assistance on changing the gender marker on your driver’s license for example, how to safely start HRT, and even motivation for going to the gym or to start dating.

An increasingly transphobic political climate

Not only would the app come to help people with their specific goals, but a ‘news’ section would provide important updates relevant to transition and how that may impact one’s life.

This is particularly important with the rise of transphobic legislation, such as proposals around affording homeless shelters and doctors the right to refuse trans people.

A study back in 2015, conducted by the National Centre for Transgender Equality (NCTE), found “one in four transgender adults experienced some kind of housing bias; one in eight Black transgender women were denied a home because they are transgender”, as well as “19 percent of trans people have been refused care because of their gender, 28 percent have been harassed in medical settings.”

I know this doesn’t solve the underlining issues BUT we need to build the infrastructure to help hedge against things like this and manage times of crisis.

Let’s take our power back. Let’s build tools that allow us to still move forward.— RKA (@robbi_anthony) May 24, 2019

Robbi says that it has never been more important to provide support for a community who suffer from a whopping 41 percent of suicide attempts, compared to 1.6 percent of the general population.

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Oli Lipski
Oli is a freelance sex tech researcher based in London. With an MA in Sexual Dissidence, researching sex tech, and a BA in History, researching gender and sexuality, she has a keen understanding of the past, present and future of sex.

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